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NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke is Comcast's most highly compensated executive

Steve Burke, who became chief of Comcast-controlled media giant NBCUniversal in January, received $34.74 million in 2010, topping the $31.05 million earned by his boss, Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts.

April 02, 2011|By Meg James, Los Angeles Times
  • Steve Burke, CEO of Comcast-controlled media giant NBCUniversal, received a compensation package in 2010 valued at $34.74 million.
Steve Burke, CEO of Comcast-controlled media giant NBCUniversal, received… (Comcast )

For the second consecutive year, Steve Burke received a richer compensation package than that of his boss, Comcast Corp. Chief Executive Brian L. Roberts.

Burke, who became chief executive of Comcast-controlled media giant NBCUniversal in January, was awarded a compensation package in 2010 valued at $34.74 million — a 2% increase from 2009. His compensation last year included a $2.24-million base salary, a $3-million signing bonus (the second installment after renewing his contract in 2009) and nearly $15 million in stock and option awards.

Percentage-wise, Roberts got the bigger bump. His total package for 2010, valued at $31.05 million, was a 14% increase over his 2009 compensation. Roberts received a base salary of $2.8 million, $11 million in stock and option awards and $10.9 million in non-equity incentives. Roberts did not receive a bonus. His 2009 compensation was $27.24 million.

The Comcast executives' bounties put them in slightly higher leagues than some of their rivals in the media world. Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger collected $28 million last year, and Time Warner Inc. Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes' 2010 package was valued at $26.3 million. However, Viacom Inc. CEO Philippe Dauman outpaced his peers with a total compensation for 2010 valued at $84.5 million. Dauman's second in command, Thomas Dooley, received a total package estimated at $64.7 million.

Philadelphia-based Comcast, the nation's largest cable television company, filed its compensation data for its five highest-paid executives Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In 2009, Burke received a $33.98-million package, which was boosted by the first installment of his signing bonus. The award was calculated, in part, to reflect Burke's increasing responsibilities overseeing Comcast's interest in NBCUniversal. He spent most of last year learning NBCUniversal's operations and assembling his new executive team.

Burke also spent more time on the corporate jet than Roberts. Burke and Roberts both are required to fly on the corporate jet for personal travel for security reasons. Burke's travel time added $386,752 to his compensation, while Comcast spent $195,767 to fly Roberts around.

Michael J. Angelakis, the financial architect of the NBCUniversal deal and Comcast's chief financial officer, received compensation valued at $22.9 million for 2010 — a slight increase from his $21.55-million package in 2009.

Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen was given a package valued at $12.69 million, up from his $9.83-million package in 2009. Comcast general counsel Arthur R. Block received $4.23 million for 2010, down from his $6.15-million package in 2009.

meg.james@latimes.com

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